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Are we overjuicing our kids?

By David Mendosa

Last Update: July 28, 2001

B.A. Dennison et al. of the Mary Imogene Bassett Research Institute in Cooperstown, N.Y., attracted attention in 1997 with their article "Excess fruit juice consumption by preschool-aged children is associated with short stature and obesity," Pediatrics, January 1997 (pages 15-22). "Parents and care takers should limit young children's consumption of fruit juice to less than 12 fl oz/day," they concluded.

No limits on water and vegetables.

However, nutritionists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion found no relationship between drinking that amount of fruit juice and body mass index or height. See "Is Fruit Juice Dangerous for Children," at http://www.usda.gov/cnpp/InsgtM97.htm. Actually, children who drank more fruit juice were slightly taller with slightly lower BMIs, according to data from the USDA's 1994 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals.

However, if you are yeast sensitive, Dr. William Crook, author of The Yeast Connection Handbook , recommends avoiding juices—except for freshly squeezed juice—"because they're loaded with yeast."

Marion Franz, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, points out that fruit juices are "not OK in unlimited amounts." In fact, she said, "There is nothing OK in unlimited amounts except water and vegetables." 

This article originally appeared on NutriNews.com on October 30, 2000.


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